Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Caring Causes: USA Swimming Foundation

Olympic gold medalist Missy Franklin (Centennial, Colo./Colorado Stars) has joined the USA Swimming Foundation through 2020 to become a USA Swimming Foundation Ambassador, promoting the organization’s mission to “Save Lives & Build Champions in the pool and in life.”

“From the first time I became aware of the USA Swimming Foundation, I’ve been so impressed by its impact to teach children how to swim and learn to be safer around the water,” Franklin said. “They’ve also been great supporters of the U.S. National Team. I can’t wait to get involved to help the Foundation reach its lofty, but achievable, goals to increase donations that will keep the U.S. National Team atop the podium and provide swim lessons for more than 1 million children in 2017.”

The USA Swimming Foundation’s Make a Splash initiative provides the opportunity for every child in America to learn to swim – regardless of race, gender or financial circumstances. It is the nation’s pre-eminent learn to swim initiative, with more than 725 local partners nationwide that provide swim lessons and educate children and their families on the importance of learning how to swim. Since 2007, nearly 3.5 million children have learned the critical life-saving skill of swim lessons from Make a Splash providers.

Through Building Champions, the USA Swimming Foundation supports National Team athletes and coaches by providing financial assistance that is crucial to their pursuit of athletic and personal success. This support helps to keep USA Swimming’s National Team at the top of the medal stand, a position it has held for more than 50 years.

Sobering Drowning Statistics
• Approximately 10 people drown every day in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), with nearly 25 percent children younger than 14
• 70 percent of African-American and 60 percent of Hispanic/Latino children cannot swim, according to a national research study by the USA Swimming Foundation and the University of Memphis
• Only 13 percent of kids who come from a non-swimming household will ever learn to swim, the USA Swimming Foundation found
• African-American children drown at a rate nearly three times higher than their Caucasian peers, the CDC reports
• Drowning is a silent killer—most young children who drowned in pools were last seen in the home, had been out of sight less than five minutes, and were in the care of one or both parents at the time, according to the Present P. Child Drowning study

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